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Consider the Importance of Advanced Directives

An Advanced Directive is a legal way for you to declare your wishes to choose or refuse medical treatments. Make sure you discuss these wishes with your primary care physician. There are two types of Advanced Directives:

Living Will: This is a document which states what medical treatment you would want or not want if you were unable to communicate these wishes. A living will applies when you cannot express your wishes on your own and you have a condition from which you are not expected to survive, it is terminal

You may choose measures to support life such as a ventilator or respiratory (a machine to help you breath)
You may choose measures to sustain life such as tube feedings or kidney dialysis
You may choose measures to enhance life such as pain medication or hospice care
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: This is a written document which names a person who would make treatment decisions for you if you are not able to make them yourself. They would state your wishes from a medical perspective. You do not have to have a terminal condition for someone to speak on your behalf.

You can get these forms from your lawyer, local hospital or your local library.